About

Top Shelf's Tale

My name is Jude Callahan and I am the proud owner and operator of Top Shelf Events of Santa Barbara. I wanted to share a little bit about Top Shelf, as a way to introduce our company to you. Top Shelf was started in 2004 by Jude Callahan and Blayn Bouker. We were bartending at a really nice restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. When a group of guests came into the bar to wait for their dinner reservation. After about an hour of waiting on the group, one of the women asked if I would care to bartend for them at their estate in Montecito. It was at her home that I met many of the areas finest caterers and other estate owners.

In 2005 Blayn Bouker decided that he wanted to entertain other options and sold his interest in Top Shelf to me. It was at this moment that I decided that I wanted to be part of people's most important celebrations for the rest of my life. I loved and wanted to throw parties. The best way I could achieve this goal was to become part of the rich tradition and history of the amazing Santa Barbara region. I volunteered Top Shelf for service during La Primavera and Los Dignitarios. That first year we had 22 bartenders at the Santa Barbara Zoo for Los Dignitarios and 3200 of Santa Barbara's VIPs. We had the pleasure of being part of Los Dignitaruos for 3 years. I volunteered Top Shelf for Juvenile Diabetes Fundraisers, countless school fundraisers, Susan G Komen/Avon Walk for the cure, Boys and Girl Club fundraisers and anything that helped the community of Santa Barbara grow.

Soon I understood what my mom meant when she said " Life takes care of those who take care of others". While volunteering at these wonderful events, I was lucky enough to shake hands with the areas amazing event planners, caterers, business professionals, political figures and most affluent. All of which became long standing loyal clients of our services.

During the last 12 years I have had the pleasure of shaking hands with  over 500 brides and grooms. Watched as fathers fell apart time and time again as they tried to tell everyone just how special and important their little princess is. Smiled as mothers tried to show their sons how to dance, again.

Over the years we have worked inside of the majority of Montecito's estates. Words can not describe the amazing homes and grounds that we have had the rare pleasure of seeing. We have had the pleasure of working for the world's elite in their home for their most special of moments.

In 2007 the economy dropped out and we felt it as most other businesses in the area did. During this time of adversity I took my lead from a lesson I learned in my senior highschool economics class. During the first year of the great depression, right after the fall of the stock market,  while many companies simply took what money they had left  and closed up shop, Chevrolet Motor Company did just the opposite. Knowing they had a great product and believing in the American people, Chevrolet dug in and spent money advertising and getting ready for the future. During the last 5 years of rough economy I did precisely the same thing. I invested in Top Shelf, because,  I like Chevrolet, have a great service to offer and believe in the ever industrious American people. I am proud to say that while many of our competitors have closed their doors and moved on, we are bigger and better than ever before.

During the nearly 12 years in business I have had many different requests for types of bars for different themed events. Due to these requests I have built 7 portable bars. Yes I built all of them right here in Santa Barbara, with mainly products produced right here in the United States. We have Tiki Bars(not your typical Tiki), Live Edge Rustic Bars built with Acacia and Ashwood from right here in Santa Barbara,  Black Walnut with hand carved Corbels, and bars that light up in any color imaginable.

While longevity is our main success story, it is because of the amazing people we have been blessed to have join our team. I stress to my staff that I am only one person and with out them I have nothing. Our staff love to work events with us.  To most of them it is a welcomed break in the monotony of life. Yes they are working the event, but they are still part of something amazing, something so special that you planned it and made it happen. Time and time again I am hugged and thanked by our staff as the event ends. This is because we respect and treat our staff well and because they just shared in one of your most special days. Many of our staff have been with us for over 10 years.

As we go into our 12th and most promising year yet we look forward to helping you with your event. Be it a wedding, rehearsal birthday, bar or bat mitzvah, holiday party, corporate mixer, or private dinner for 12 at your home, we want to be part of your celebration's success. Thank you for your interest I look forward to helping you create your amazing event.